Wonton noodle soup, a favorite Chinese comfort food, brings together a whole lot of goodness in a single bowl: a clear, savory broth; thin, springy egg noodles; fresh, crunchy greens; and of course, meaty, silky-skinned wontons.
Start with the broth, made by simmering pork bones with aromatics for a couple of hours. Be sure to blanch and rinse the bones first, which will help rid them of impurities and give you a clearer soup.
In the meantime, assemble your wontons. Fillings can vary, but this recipe uses a savory mix of ground pork, shrimp, and shiitake mushrooms. Don’t overstuff them—wontons have less filling than their dumpling cousins, to better match their thinner, more delicate wrappers, so a teaspoonful each will do. And there’s no wrong way to fold a wonton—these are curled into classic ingot shapes, but feel free to try your hand at other methods.
From there, the soup comes together in three quick rounds of boiling, for the bok choy, the noodles, and the wontons. Arrange these just-cooked components in your soup bowls first, so they don’t overcook, then right before serving, top it all off with a pour of steaming hot broth.
Wonton Noodle Soup
Prep Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Serves 4 to 6 (36 wontons)
For the Soup
- 3 pounds pork backbones
- 1 onion, peeled and left whole
- 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 quarts water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Pinch of white pepper
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
For the Wontons
- 36 wonton wrappers
- 8 ounces ground pork
- 8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of white pepper
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 egg
- 3 fresh shiitake mushrooms, minced
- 1 bunch cilantro stems, minced
- 1 scallion, minced
- 3 tablespoons extra-light olive oil
- Water, for sealing wontons
For the Noodles and Toppings
- 6 pieces Shanghai bok choy, halved
- 12 ounces fresh, thin wonton egg noodles
- 1 scallion, chopped, for garnish
Make the Soup
Place the pork bones in a large pot of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse the pork bones.
To the same pot, add the onion, ginger, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and 3 quarts water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.
Remove and discard the bones, herbs, and spices. (Note: If the bones have a good amount of meat on them, reserve the meat for another use—it’s delicious simply dipped in a mix of soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and chopped scallions.) Use a skimmer to remove any impurities from the soup. Season to taste with salt, white pepper, sugar, and sesame oil and set aside.
Make the Wontons
In a large bowl, add the ground pork and minced shrimp. Season with soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, salt, white pepper, and sugar. Mix well. In a small bowl, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing together the cornstarch and water. Add the cornstarch slurry and egg to the pork and shrimp mixture. Mix well. Add the shiitake mushrooms, cilantro stems, and scallions. Mix well. Lastly, add the extra-light olive oil and mix well.
To wrap each wonton, use your finger to brush the edges of the wrapper with water. Place about a teaspoon of the filling in the center. Fold the wrapper in half to create a rectangular shape. Brush one of the bottom folded corners with water, and bring the two bottom corners together, curling the rectangle into a wonton shape. Press to seal the corners together. Repeat with the rest of the filling and wrappers.
Finish the Soup
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the bok choy for about 30 seconds. Remove and set aside.
Add the wonton noodles to the same pot of boiling water. Cook over high heat until al dente, about 2 minutes. Remove and rinse under running water, then transfer to a large bowl or several serving bowls.
Add the wontons to the same pot of boiling water. Boil for about 5 minutes, until they float up to the top. Remove and add to the bowl(s) of noodles, along with the bok choy.
Pour the hot soup over the noodles, wontons, and bok choy, and garnish with scallions to serve.
Recipe by CiCi Li, the producer and presenter of “CiCi’s Food Paradise” on NTD. Join her in discovering the world of Asian home cooking at CiCiLi.tv.